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Title: Nanoscale copper in the soil–plant system – toxicity and underlying potential mechanisms

Nanoscale copper particles (nano-Cu) are used in many antimicrobial formulations and products for their antimicrobial activity. They may enter deliberately and/or accidentally into terrestrial environments including soils. Being the major ‘eco-receptors’ of nanoscale particles in the terrestrial ecosystem, soil–microbiota and plants (the soil–plant system) have been used as a model to dissect the potential impact of these particles on the environmental and human health. In the soil–plant system, the plant can be an indirect non-target organism of the soil-associated nano-Cu that may in turn affect plant-based products and their consumers. By all accounts, information pertaining to nano-Cu toxicity and the underlying potential mechanisms in the soil–plant system remains scanty, deficient and little discussed. Therefore, based on some recent reports from (bio)chemical, molecular and genetic studies of nano-Cu versus soil–plant system, this article: (i) overviews the status, chemistry and toxicity of nano-Cu in soil and plants, (ii) discusses critically the poorly understood potential mechanisms of nano-Cu toxicity and tolerance both in soil–microbiota and plants, and (iii) proposes future research directions. It appears from studies hitherto made that the uncontrolled generation and inefficient metabolism of reactive oxygen species through different reactions are the major factors underpinning the overall nano-Cu consequences in bothmore » the systems. However, it is not clear whether the nano-Cu or the ion released from it is the cause of the toxicity. We advocate to intensify the multi-approach studies focused at a complete characterization of the nano-Cu, its toxicity (during life cycles of the least-explored soil–microbiota and plants), and behavior in an environmentally relevant terrestrial exposure setting. Such studies may help to obtain a deeper insight into nano-Cu actions and address adequately the nano-Cu-associated safety concerns in the ‘soil–plant system’.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ; ;  [1] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [1] ;  [7]
  1. CESAM-Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies & Department of Chemistry, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro (Portugal)
  2. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Agronomy, Mendel University in Brno, Zemedelska 1, CZ-613 00 Brno (Czech Republic)
  3. (Czech Republic)
  4. Central European Institute of Technology, Brno University of Technology, Technicka 3058/10, CZ-616 00 Brno (Czech Republic)
  5. Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Hamdard University, New Delhi 110062 (India)
  6. Department of Botany, Plant Physiology and Ecology, N.P. Ogarev Mordovia State University, Bolshevistskaja Str., 68. Saransk 430005 (Russian Federation)
  7. (Portugal)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22483290
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Research; Journal Volume: 138; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2015 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; COPPER; ENVIRONMENT; LIFE CYCLE; METABOLISM; NANOPARTICLES; NANOSTRUCTURES; OXYGEN; PLANTS; PUBLIC HEALTH; SAFETY; SOILS; TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS; TOLERANCE; TOXICITY